Republic Floor CEO Rotem Eylor said the company plans to open more than 20 distribution centers across the country in the next five years, opening about seven by the end of this year.
“When we reach that goal, it will be an amazing service for everybody,” Eylor said.
The supplier of waterproof vinyl, SPC, laminate and engineered hardwood opened its doors six years ago and aims to be a top five supplier in the next five years. The company is a core supplier for CCA Global and the National Floorcovering Alliance and also caters to large commercial projects, hospitality, builders and the architecture and design community.
Eylor, born in Israel, built his business acumen marketing uncut diamonds.
“I brought my know-how from a very different industry. It was very challenging, and you need to be very creative to do that. The flooring industry is a very traditional business with a very long history. What can you make new in flooring? How can you turn the business 180 degrees and make it different?”
The answer was building a completely self-sufficient system that allows them to provide next-day delivery to nearly 95% of its market nationwide.
“We keep full inventory in every warehouse—for about 300 SKUs,” he said. “We do our own designs for our papers, we do our own imports, we own our own fleet of tractor trailers, we own our own distribution centers. Everything we do is direct. We didn’t do it to cut costs—we did it for customer service to control everything we can in the process—and our customers benefit from the savings.”
This year, the company dodged inventory challenges related to COVID-19 thanks to deep stock in its warehouses—it keeps about three months of inventory on hand at all times—and strong relationships with manufacturing partners in China.
“We make sure we are at least 50% of their manufacturing capacity to ensure we get priority,” Eylor said. “We do direct deals with the ocean freight companies, buying space, guaranteeing to them the number of containers each month, and it helped us during the pandemic to get space on the ships and to have manufacturing online when factories came back to work.”